Sunday, April 09, 2006

Keep holy the Sabbath

I have always struggled with how to keep holy the Sabbath. I have never quite mastered the art of having a restful Sunday and wondered exactly what I was supposed to do in order to have a truly holy Sunday. But my pastor gave us a brief explanation on how we as Christians view the Sabbath much differently than the Jewish people before Christ did.

When Jesus came, He said that He came to fulfill the Law. One of the Laws He fulfilled was "resting" on the Sabbath. When He died on the cross, He died on Good Friday, "rested" in the tomb on Saturday, and was raised Easter Sunday. He fulfilled the command to rest on the Sabbath.

That is why we do not celebrate the Sabbath on Saturdays anymore, because Jesus fulfilled that Law by being dead and "resting" on Holy Saturday. The early Christians began celebrating Sunday as The Lord's Day to celebrate His Resurrection and the breaking of the bread (the Eucharist). Because of Jesus' fulfillment of the Law, the early Christians did not put as much emphasis on "resting" on Sundays as the Jewish people did for the Sabbath. Our requirement now to "keep Holy the Sabbath" is not the same as it was for those who lived before Christ. Our main requirement is to go to Mass, receive the Eucharist and remember the Resurrection.

However, I still think it is a great idea to have as peaceful a Sunday as possible to make the day holy and reflective. I'm just glad for the clarification.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Stolen car, bathroom breaks, and St. Anthony

G.R.'s car was stolen, again. It has been stolen twice and broken into at least 3 times. It's a 1985 Toyota Camry, a total clunker!

The police seemed optimistic that the car would be recovered, again. But G.R. felt horribly disappointed in himself for forgetting to put the club on the car. I told him, "It's not your fault! People shouldn't be stealing your car!"

I prayed about it all day, mainly because we cannot afford to get another car because we just spent our tax return money on airfare for our vacation to visit his brother in Minnesota. One of my kids shares a name with that ever-beloved saint who finds lost things, and so I was calling out to him all day. The last time our car was stolen, we did a novena to him and the car was recovered two weeks later.

"Come on, St. Anthony. I named my first-born after you! Could you help us out?"

That afternoon I became inspired. "I think I'll go drive around and look for the car." I know, I know, like I'd really find it, right? Oh well, it's worth a try, and plus driving around listening to music relaxes me anyway. So off we go. G.R. was at work so it was me and the five kids.

About 10 minutes into it the whining begins. "Why are we just driving around?" "I'm too hot!" "I'm too cold!" "I wanna go home and play computer games!" "I'm hungry!" Grrrrr.

And then the one complaint a mother can't ignore. "I have to go to the bathroom!"

We drive up to the cleanest Chevron in town. They all go to the bathroom. Fine. They think we are going home. Nope.

I want to get back to the neighborhood I was in right before the bathroom break. Only one street gets there, and it dead ends into another street that dead ends into where I want to be.

I'm driving along with much calmer kids. It's sunny and warm. A good song is playing on the radio.

There it is.


There it is.

What? Seriously? Really, God? My prayers answered?

St. Anthony, you mean you really did hear me?


There it was, parked on the side of the road, our little brown/gray 1985 Toyota Camry. Pull out the cell phone (which we had just bought the previous night due to my being unaware my son had swallowed an eraser at school and had been taken to the ER by my husband, who had to leave work since no one could find me. By the way, it was the son named after Uncle Tony and he is fine) and I called the police. They came out, looked it over, gave it back to us.

G.R. has been bragging about me ever since. But really, it was a God-thing. And a Saint Anthony thing.

Everyone should name at least one of their kids "Anthony". That way, no one would have to worry about anything being lost or stolen for long.